When it comes to ferreting out the stocker potential of bull calves compared to steers, John F. Currin, DVM, a professor at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, says the real question boils down to figuring out the post-purchase cost of the bulls.
According to Currin, the extra costs associated with buying bull calves include:
- The cost of castration.
- Decreased weight gain post-castration.
- Increased likelihood of getting shipping fever (BRD).
- Increased likelihood of calf loss to death (from BRD or castration complication).
You can find Currin's article at www.ext.vt.edu/news/periodicals/livestock/aps-06_06/aps-337.html
|Weight of bulls |
|Decreased value of bull calves |
relative to comparable steer calves (per cwt.)
Source: Dr. John F. Currin, VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, VA Tech, Livestock Update, June 2006